I’m looking forward to a very special event tonight. One I’ve been fortunate to have been a part of twice before. I’m very excited about it – although anxious too. It has tremendous meaning to me, especially this year.
Tonight is the varsity football banquet. A chance to once again spend time with the entire team, their parents, the cheerleaders, the coaches and the staff that so faithfully helped put each game together and assisted with all the practices and the behind the scenes efforts to run the club.
It’s a family unto itself and I’m blessed to be a part of it! These are amazing people who donate time, effort, food and open up their homes to the players weekly for socializing. Keeping them all organized is tough! I can’t wait to be in their space again, however brief it might be.
I know this banquet has been no small undertaking and that a lot of thought and care has been injected into it on Chris’s behalf. I’m giving a shout out of thanks to everyone ahead of time here - but I fear it will never be heartfelt enough when I say it out loud tonight. I truly appreciate everything, I know it hasn’t been easy and I know I don’t know half the details of what’s been done in putting the evening together.
Chris passed on December 1st. The original date for the banquet was to have been December 6th however, Deanna was buried that day and Chris’ wake hadn’t even happened yet. Everything was postponed until a more appropriate time when the focus could be on the celebration of the players and their fabulous season. It’s well deserved by every one of them. I’m looking forward to applauding them and embracing as many as I can get my hands on. They’re such great kids with generous and kind hearts.
Some introductory season for Coach Clawson… It will be locked in his memory for more reasons than I’m sure he’d care to think about. He definitely didn’t sign up for this kind of kickoff in his career but what a magnificent job he and his coaching staff have done with our boys. Well done! Tonight we get to revel in the highs of this brotherhood, of this football family and the camaraderie between us.
I had a conversation with Coach Clawson not too long ago when he was sharing details about the events to come at the banquet. I’m not so great with surprises these days and have a need to know what’s happening. I had one probing question plaguing me that Coach was able to soothe… I wanted to know if any award Chris may be receiving was genuine. I only wanted him to win it at the banquet tonight if he was going to have won it on December 6th. I don’t like the idea of Chris being gifted an award he didn’t earn just because of the accident.
Coach Clawson told me that all the award winners had been chosen well before the accident and whatever Chris might receive tonight was deserved. WHEW!! Tonight, Mike and I won’t be accepting anything Chris wouldn’t himself have stepped forward to receive had he been here on December 6th for the original banquet ceremony. I’m really pleased about that!
I wish all the players a wonderful night tonight. Whether they’re sophomores, juniors or seniors they played a wonderful season together and I’m so happy to sit alongside them.
I anticipate shedding tears of joy and sadness with all the people Chris loved. Chris will be with us.
Thank you for reading. GO SHEN!